My First Investigation: The Diaries of a Ghost Hunter
St. Michael's Cemetery in Crewe is ancient. Records show that it dates way back to 1863, though stones have been found with dates preceding that. Through research and wandering around just looking at the stones and inscriptions I have discovered that so much history and sadness lies within the railings of this little graveyard. From the bride who died before she made it down the aisle and was buried in her wedding dress, to the soldier who died on the day the war finished, there are definitely some unhappy and unfulfilled souls laid to rest.
A funeral for a family friend brought me here originally. Surprisingly, it was a cemetery I never really paid much attention to but, while waiting in the rain for the hearse to arrive, I felt like this was a cemetery I needed to revisit and pay close attention to. So, several weeks later, that is just what I did.
To be honest I was a little unprepared for the trip, or at least I thought I was. I'd recently found a YouTuber who went out investigations and with her she had a whole bunch of equipment I couldn't afford. EMF detectors, EVP recorders, spirit boxes, expensive cameras and LED lights... I felt like a right amateur wandering into the graveyard with just an iPhone app and my Samsung mobile phone to record on.
Still, I went on in the hope of getting something good. The main point of the trip was admittedly to test out the app I had downloaded. It's neat application for the iPhone/Apple devices called Ghost Hunter M2. It basically contains everything a ghost hunter would need to make it look like they know what they're doing. A barometer, audio analyser, EMF detector, and more. So much tech on one app. But a lot of these apps can be easy to fake. Add a bank of random voices and suddenly the user convinces themselves that a ghost is really talking to them. The M2 app seems to have had a lot of effort put into it though, so I thought I'd give it a chance. What's the worst that could happen?
The app has a radar which emits a loud "doing" when it thinks something is there. As soon as I switched it on there and stood in the middle of the graveyard with stones all around, it went crazy. It detected "spirits" everywhere. And then the voices began. Like many apps, it has a synthesized voice that is supposed to be a speech-to-text EMF recorder. We stood at the grave of the bride — one of the most striking stones in the cemetery — and the app chose that moment to give the words "dawn" and "joy" in quick succession. My mum had a theory that those were the emotions the poor bride would have felt on the morning of her wedding.
Moving on, we walked towards the rear of the graveyard where we found a particularly woebegone grave. It looked to be a vast tomb, yet half of the stone was missing and an object which appeared to be an urn of sorts stood on top of the bare soil. The grave had such a disheveled appearance that we were drawn to it. My mum stood in front of it and wiped away the leaves and dirt, describing it as "filthy." Shortly after, the M2 generated the word "dirty." If that wasn't enough, when it came to analysing the footage back at home I heard a quiet yet distinct voice which was neither me, my mum, or the app. A girl's voice spoke the word "dirt," elongating the "i". It was at that point where I wondered if this app was indeed fake like many others, whether it was just pure coincidence it spoke the word "dirty" and I had a genuine EVP of a girl saying similar, or if it is real.
Further into the investigation we came across a grave in an appalling state. It was surrounded by other stones, fallen and cracked, and was covered in graffiti and beer cans. We tidied it up and walked on. Later, I returned to the grave out of sheer curiosity. I stood in front of it, read the words on the stone to learn the inhabitant of the sadly vandalised grave. In the video I recorded, yet another EVP had been picked up. This time, after I had finished reading the stone out loud, I heard in the footage an almost mournful-sounding "yeah," as if someone was confirming that it was his name.
I showed my findings to my brother, and after hearing the voices for himself he mutely handed back my headphones with a wide-eyed, slightly scared expression. Personally, the voices never had that effect on me. More than anything it was a little saddening, and a huge privilege. Spirits need energy to speak to us, and that energy often comes from draining our batteries and electronic devices. That's why the well-seasoned ghost hunter will go out with a large stock of batteries. So, to have someone speak to me, however little, made me feel lucky.
It became so clear to me following this investigation that this was something I strangely enjoyed. I got a sense of fulfillment from hearing the spirits talk, and not from the app. These were real voices, belonging to real spirits. It is hard to dispute it. When I uploaded the videos to YouTube I prepared myself for the comments saying it is fake. Personally, when those inevitable comments come, I won’t blame them — if I had not recorded and analysed the videos myself, I would not believe completely they are real.
But they are somehow very real. It fascinates me how spirits are able to contact us, and I will without a doubt return to the cemetery as soon as I can to capture more footage.
Take time to browse through the pictures below in the meantime. You can get a sense of how lonely and abandoned this cemetery feels, which is odd given it is in the center of town and surrounded by houses.
Disclaimer: not taken by the professional photographer!
The site of one of my EVP's whispering "dirty". Long-since forgotten and neglected. It clearly once had a railing which, for whatever reason, has now been removed. And as for the rest of the stone, or what used to stand where there is now soil? Who knows. Maybe it was carefully removed because of the tree, but leaving the grave bare seems somewhat indecent in my mind.
Sadly, this stone is now hard to read without standing on someone else's grave. Perhaps the tree was planted for the occupant, but it grew more than anyone anticipated?
One of several servicemen buried at this location.
This graveyard is home to several fascinating and beautiful stones. This is another, built like a Greek temple, and another which appeared to once have railings which were removed.
One of many damaged graves.
Slowly claimed by nature.
Take care guys. For now, that's a wrap.